San Diego – Dr. A. Brent Eastman, FACS, an international leader in trauma and emergency surgical care, has been elected vice chair of the board of regents of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The 22-member board of regents governs the ACS, the largest organization of surgeons in the world.
As N. Paul Whittier chair of trauma for Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and chief medical officer for Scripps Health in San Diego, Dr. Eastman has a long-standing record of service to the ACS. He has served on the ACS board of regents since 2001 and was national chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma from 1990 to 1994.
Eastman chaired the ACS Committee on Trauma for San Diego and Imperial counties from 1984 to 1989 and played a vital role in establishing San Diego County’s trauma system. Since the system was deployed in 1984, the percentage of preventable deaths in the region’s hospitals has fallen from 22 percent to approximately 2 percent.
Eastman has helped develop trauma care systems around America and worldwide. In 2007, Eastman participated in the ACS Distinguished Visiting Surgeon in Combat Care Program at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany. LRMC is the U.S. military’s evacuation hospital that provides medical treatment to casualties injured during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Eastman also actively supports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Earlier this year, he was part of a CDC team that traveled to India to begin the development of an urgently needed trauma care system for that vast subcontinent. In summer 2008, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt selected Eastman to serve on the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s board of scientific counselors.
Eastman earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he completed his general surgical residency and served as chief surgical resident. He began his career with Scripps in 1972 in the practice of general, vascular and trauma surgery.
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The ACS is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The ACS has more than 72,000 members.
Based in San Diego, Calif., the nonprofit Scripps Health system collaborates with other regional health care providers by operating two of San Diego County’s five adult trauma centers. Scripps trauma centers treat more than 4,000 trauma patients per year. In addition, Scripps plays a vital role in providing emergency care by operating four emergency departments, which receive approximately 157,000 patient visits annually.
Overall, Scripps Health treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 12,300 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of clinics, physician offices and outpatient centers.